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September 23, 1987 - Image 25

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-09-23

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Understanding the obligations of celebrity: Jimmy Carter gamely carries on despite the onlookers at Emory

support two other academics-professors who are not drawn
away by outside lectures, consulting contracts and publicity
tours. "When you hire these stars, in effect you're saying to
the rest of the department, 'You're doing the dishes'," com-
plains the Berkeley professor. Rather than build up a whole
department, universities sometimes create a two-tier system
in which less famous teachers feel upstaged.
To be sure, many celebrities are valuable teachers, bring-
ing knowledge, experience and contacts into the classroom.
Film students in Columbia's graduate School of the Arts, for
example, enjoy the opportunity to work with such directors
as Milos Forman, Martin Scorsese and Brian DePalma. The
drawback is that the famous filmmakers are seldom around
for more than one semester at a time. By relying on busy
artists, acknowledges deputy provost Michael Mooney, Co-
lumbia must make a trade-off: "You assure yourself a con-
stant flow of new talent. The
value that must be traded is ,
having people here who cangive
the kind of long-term counsel- J .1
ing students need."
These days, famous faculty
seem to be glittering every-
where. Former senator and
presidential candidate Barry
Goldwater linked up with Ari-
zona State. Feminist author
Betty Friedan taught classes on
men and women in society at
USC, with appearances by such
stellar friends as Valerie Har-
per and Norman Lear. Some
stars gained luster on the job:
cosmic astronomer Carl Sagan,
for one, is firmly identified with
Cornell (page 14). Others fly
the classroom after achieving
fame: pap psychologist Leo Bus-
caglia, the best-selling "Dr. Prominence brings detracto

Love," began as an obscure assistant education professor at
USC, where he's now on extended leave.
It may be unfair to generalize about campus luminaries;
each serves a special role within his or her own university.
But clearly, celebrities are not like other professors. In an
era of tighter budgets, more students and faculty are ques-
tioning whether these Very Important Professors are really
worth their price. Below, an introduction to some of those in
the spotlight, their special advantages and problems.
The President: No one understands the duties of
celebrity better than Jimmy Carter. His presidential
library-located conveniently just four miles from
the Emory campus in northeast Atlanta-serves as
a kind of political laboratory and magnet for states-
men and scholars; student volunteers there have had the
opportunity to meet with such
international heavyweights as
Gerald Ford, Henry Kissinger
and former Soviet ambassador
Anatoly Dobrynin. While his
occasional classes are popular,
Carter's chief value to the uni-
versity is his ability to draw ad-
missions and attention. "The
New York Times used to refer
to it as 'Emory University in
- Atlanta'," says recent graduate
Mark Joyella. "Now it's just
'Emory.' They don't have to tell
where it is."
Carter had been wooed by
a number of universities, but
ultimately decided to remain
near his hometown of Plains.
Emory emerged as the favor-
ite because of its strength in
DEBORAH FEINGOLD-OUTLINE the humanities and political
Stephen Jay Gould science, a recent endowment




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